MARCH 2014
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Healing Wise ...
with Susun Weed

Snow Melting; Heart healthy Nuts

Green-ing greetings.

There's still lots of snow here, and more to come, we are told, but the green is not letting that stop it!

Under the snow, bulbs are sending up green shoots. Look! My snowdrops are blooming right through the snow. I know there are lots more under there. Just a little more sun and they will be revealed too. Followed by the crocuses and daffodils.

Have you been watching the tree buds? A month ago they began to swell ever so slightly as the sap began to run. Now those buds are coloring up. Soon the leaves they enclose will spring forth, as if by magic. Squirrels are running up and down the trees eating lots of buds and chattering wildly about the longer days.

Lots more birds, too. I was awakened the other morning by the cacophony of bird song outside my closed window. Wonder what they were chatting about? Owlets are hatching, the vultures have returned (to eat all the things revealed by the melting snow, no doubt), and robins search the edges of the snow-covered lawns hoping for an early worm.

Much as I love the return of the green, I am also sad to see the end of winter and quiet time for writing. I am so enjoying creating my new course on heart health. Here is a selection from it for you nuts. Yes, on nuts. Grab some to munch as you read and enjoy.

-The Ideal Meal

Fed up with the growing number of people being told they need to take statin drugs and blood pressure drugs, Dutch researchers reviewed 44 studies connecting diet with heart health. They identified six key foods that, eaten regularly, can cut your risk of heart disease by 76 percent. Men who eat these foods can expect to live an extra 6.5 years; women, who already live longer, get 5 extra years from this diet.

The foods: garlic, greens, dark chocolate, almonds, salmon, wine or green tea

The amounts, per week: 7-10 cloves of garlic, 15-20 cups of greens and other vegetables and fruits, 24 ounces of dark chocolate (one 3 ounce bar daily), 5-8 glasses of red wine or 10-16 cups of green tea, one pound salmon (or herring or sardines).

The amounts, per day
: ½ teaspoon garlic, four servings of cooked greens/vegs/fruit (not juice), one 3 ounce bar of dark chocolate, one 5-ounce glass of red wine or two cups of green tea, two ounces of almonds (or other nuts), 4 ounces of salmon (at least twice a week).

It surprises many people that nuts are good for heart health. We tend to think of them as fatty and fattening. Just the opposite is true. Nuts help us lose weight, counter diabetes, lower blood pressure, and even lower cholesterol. Read on for the good news about nuts. (Excerpted from the nut monograph that accompanies Unit 3 of my new online course: Heart Health the Wise Woman Way.)

Nuts have nourished people since the early Stone Age when prehistoric nomads mixed ground almonds and pistachios with chopped dates, breadcrumbs, and sesame oil as a hearty travel food. Walnuts are thought to be the first nuts eaten, and almonds one of the first domesticated trees.

While there are differences between nuts – such as different forms of vitamin E and differing amounts of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats – eating any nuts, even peanuts, regularly, promotes heart health.

Protect the fats in nuts by storing them in the freezer and by buying non-roasted nuts. Do roast nuts before eating them though, to destroy their anti-nutritional properties. Roast them in a slow oven or toast in a cast iron pan until aromatic and lightly browned. Eat within a few days.

Don't just add nuts to your diet. Use them to replace snack foods, chips, cookies, and other junk food. Use them instead of processed meats on your salad. Use thinned nut butter instead of white flour gravy. Add nuts to salads, stir frys, oatmeal, cold cereal, pasta, yogurt, grain dishes. Grind and use to thicken pesto, sauces, and salad dressings. Spread nut butter on toast or down the center of a stalk of celery.

•    A Harvard study, completed in 2011, which followed 120,000 adults for 20 years, singled out potato chips as the greatest contributor to weight gain. Nuts came in second only to yogurt as the food most linked to weight loss.
•    Eating peanuts and peanut butter at least five times a week, reduces a woman's risk of gall bladder disease by 25%.
•    Eating 1.5 ounces of pistachios daily lowers cholesterol better, and faster, than a low-fat diet.
•    Nuts are among the plant foods with the highest total antioxidant content. And walnuts, pecans and chestnuts have the highest antioxidant content of them all.
•    Nuts contain lots of vitamin E plus calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These boost testosterone production in older men, putting a spring in their step and lift elsewhere as well.
•    Almonds reduce cholesterol levels as much as statin drugs. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
•    Almonds reduce C-reactive protein as much as statins. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
•    Allergies to nuts of all types can be deadly. The best way to prevent nut allergies in children is to introduce nuts into their diet during the first year of life.
•    Eating nuts has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and blood vessel disease.
•    Nuts lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and improve the lipid profile.
•    Regular inclusion of nuts in the diet reduces inflammatory marker like C-reactive protein and counters oxidative stress.
•    The health results from eating nuts have been found in all population groups: including women and men of all ages, African-Americans, and those with diabetes.
•    Eating nuts helps prevent cognitive decline, preserves and improves memory, and increases alertness, at all ages.
•    Nuts in the diet help prevent sun damage and lower the risk of skin cancer.
•    Risk of death from cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases shows strong and consistent reductions with increasing nut/peanut butter consumption. Total death rates decrease 11 percent for nut intake once per week and 19 for consumption 1-4 times per week.
•    Substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet results in a 30 percent reduction in heart disease risk.
•    Foods that are known to lower cholesterol, when combined, have benefits greater than the sum of their parts. A diet containing almonds and other nuts, plus foods rich in plant sterols (such as beans and peas), plus those rich in soluble fiber (such as whole grains) can reduce cholesterol levels faster than statin drugs can.
•    Almond skin flavonoids alone enhance LDL's resistance to oxidation by 18%, when almond meat is added, LDL's resistance to oxidation is extended to 52.5%.  (Oxidized LDL leads to plaque and blocked blood vessels.)
•    Almonds may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
•    Pecans in the diet slow the decline in motor functioning associated with ALS.
•    Walnuts may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
•    Walnuts provide ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid associated with improved bone health.

Susun Weed’s books:

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $14.95
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Healing Wise
Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $21.95

NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $19.95
For excerpts visit:

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $21.95

Down There:
Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health.
Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations Retails for $29.95
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